April 1: Living Archives. Continuity and Innovation in the Art of Memory

6-8 PM

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

The term “living archives” was at the center of a debate on the purpose and method of oral history in the 1970s, concerning particularly the nature of the interview and the relationship between the past and the present. The first part of the talk will deal with the implications of this debate and with the changes in the meaning of “living archives” that took place in the following decades until the present, especially in the light of the history of the senses. A second part of the talk will focus on the complementary nature of oral and visual memory, including notes from the fieldwork of the ongoing research project directed by the speaker, “Bodies Across Borders. Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond” (sponsored by the European Research Council). Examples of forms of visual memory will be shown and commented, within the framework of the concept of intersubjectivity understood as intercorporeality.

Luisa Passerini is Part-time Professor at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy; Visiting Professor at Columbia University, NY, NY; former Professor of Cultural History from the University of Turin, Italy; and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Project "Bodies Across Borders. Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond.” Among her recent books: Women and Men in Love. European Identities in the Twentieth Century (2012); Sogno di Europa (2009); Memory and Utopia. The primacy of Intersubjectivity (2007); Europe in Love, Love in Europe (1999); Autobiography of a Generation. Italy 1968, (1996); Fascism in Popular Memory (1987).